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The 5 “R”s To Remembering Names Of Everybody You Meet

Remembering peoples names for a pastor isn't just a nice skill to is essential. And yet in ministry we meet dozens of new people every week. Here are a couple of tricks to keep those names locked in your brain for easy recall the next time you see them at church or simply at the grocery store or at the kid's soccer game.


Here are the Five RE’s to Remembering names:

1. REpeat Names

Repetition builds memory. The more you repeat a person’s name, the better chance you will have of remembering it later.

When you meet a person for the first time, say their name as much as possible. “Cool, Austin. Glad you are here, Austin. It was nice meeting you, Austin. Hope to see you next week, Austin.” The more you say it, the more it will stick.

2. Read Names
Read a person’s name in your mind. Visualize it. Spell it in your head. If you meet someone with an interesting name or a name that could be spelled multiple ways, ask them how they spell it. Then spell it in your head along with them. This may seem weird, but it works.

3. Record Names
Keep a church database, or an app with people’s names on it. After the service, write new names down as soon as possible. Add little notes like “Natalie – married, two kids, husband Jeff, works at…”

Quickly review your notes once a week and picture the people in your mind. If you have a church database with people’s pictures, that is even better!

4. Relate Names
This is the most powerful memory tip on the list. When you hear a person’s name, find an image to relate it to.

For example, take a guy named John Baker, and imagine an actual baker in a kitchen putting a toilet – a john – in the oven. Yes, this is absolutely bizarre sounding, but it works! In fact, this is what world memory champions do.

5. Remember to Remember Names
I know, “Thank you captain obvious!” Just hear me out.

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